Source: European Educational Research Journal, Volume 9 Number 2, (2010). p. 220-231.
The purpose of this study is to analyze discursively how the relationship between educational institutions and workplaces materializes in the position of a vocational teacher.
Several studies have pointed out that the role of vocational teachers is changing as a result of current educational reforms, which can be understood in terms of bringing education and work closer together.
Along these lines, the author focuses particularly on the requirement of vocational teachers to
work in close collaboration with industry and workplaces, and to serve economic interests.
Vocational teachers are asked, for instance, to be networkers outside of educational institutions and to coach students who enter work life in order to enable favourable ‘learning at work’ experiences. Students’ on-the-job learning is a normatively regulated, goal-oriented, guided, and evaluated study practice.
The pedagogical responsibility for what happens to students at work remains with vocational teachers; however, the success of educational programmes depends on the willingness of employees to offer learning opportunities to students, and to guide and evaluate student learning according to the rules set by the educational curricula. How do these new practices challenge the traditional position of vocational teachers? How do vocational teachers negotiate and enact their agency in these circumstances?